The Swans travelled to Buckinghamshire on Tuesday night knowing that three points would lift them to the top of league one for the first time in nearly thirteen years – not since John Cornforth and Mark Harris scored in a 2-1 win over Reading in October 1992 have the Swans been top of the third tier of English football.
There was mixed news before the game, with Leon Britton and Bayo Akinfenwa both missing out with injuries picked up during the win over Bristol City, they joined Adrian Forbes, Kris O’Leary and Owain Tudor-Jones on the injury list, while Kevin Austin had to sit out through suspension. The good news though was that Garry Monk returned to action a game earlier than expected, slotting into the back four in place of Austin, while Andy Robinson and Paul Connor started in midfield and up-front respectively.
The focus for the home side might have been on returning striker Izale McLeod, but it was the Swans’ duo of Trundle and Connor that started stronger, Trundle fouled by Pablo Mills outside the box, and Robinson’s free kick grazed the bar it’s way over. Sam Ricketts burst forward from left back shortly after, skipping past two defenders before teeing up Robinson, but with the goal gaping his shot flew inches past the post. Martinez then played a ball over the top which was completely misjudged by Morgan, allowing Trundle all the time in the world to slide the ball past Baker from 12-yards out. Despite the furious protests for offside from the Dons, the linesmans flag stayed down, the Swans were 1-0 up, and Trundle celebreated his 50th goal since joining the club from Wrexham just over two years ago.
The Swans started to dominate the game now, defending from the front and leaving the Dons resorting to hopeful long balls that were easily dealt with by Monk and Iriekpen, despite the attentions of their giant striker Clive Platt. Robinson carved out our next chance, skipping away from Mills before sending in a low cross, however Morgan was able to clear. Trundle then tricked his way past a defender before sending a cross over for Connor, who met it with his head, and with the ball heading for the far corner Baker somehow managed to fly across and keep it out. Had he gone the other side it would almost certainly have been 2-0.
With Gueret having nothing to do so far it was a stupid mistake that let them back into the game. Under no pressure whatsoever Izzy tried a back header to Gueret that went out for a corner, and while the big Frenchman kept out Platt’s header, he could no nothing about Mills pouncing on a rebound to head in an undeserved equalizer for the hosts. Still trying to find out how we weren’t in the lead, we were nearly 2-1 down, as Izale McLeod found himself free in front of goal, but his shot was brilliantly kept out by Gueret. The goal seemed to dent out confidence and the remaining 15 minutes of the half passed with little incident, other than a McLeod shot for MK that went high into the ‘cowshed’.
The second half started in much the same way as the first had ended – with neither side looking particularly dangerous or dominant. We created the first chance when Martinez released Trundle, but he was pulled back for offside. At the other end of the pitch a deflected brought the ball into the path of McKoy, but with only Gueret to beat he fell over the ball and gifted posession back to the Swans. Gueret was again involved soon after, bizzarely coming out of his area to head the ball straight at a Dons player, but Tate was out quickly to stop a shot that would almost certainly have resulted in a goal.
But the Swans gradually sorted themselves out and regained control of the game, and a second missed header by a defender gifted the ball to Connor, who’s low drive from 20 yards beat Baker, but then rolled just wide of the far upright. Less than a minute later Connor won the ball back off an idling defence, before sliding it through to Trundle. He ran at Mills, who backed off, allowing Trundle to play the ball in behind for Robinson. His first touch took him round Baker, allowing him a simple tap-in to give us the lead once again.
Within five minutes the points were on their way back to south Wales, Trundle again the provider for Robinson, who’s 20-yard drive could only be parried into the net by Baker, sealing the victory for the Swans. There were brief cameo’s at the end for Anderson and Thorpe, but the Dons had pretty much given up, and the final whistle went to send the Swans to the top of league on for the first time in 13 years.
Fans’ View of the Game and Photos by StanVanDamn:
The stadium was quite poor with 2 sides not having a roof though the pitch was top quality. The crowd numbers was very low, if there was no swans fans there it would have been around the 3 and a half thousand mark but they did chant their hearts out in the cow shed stand (the other side of the pitch away from us) which was good play fair.
To be honest Id say we were lucky to get the win. A draw would have been a more fair result. For the first 30 minutes we played some good stuff, passing was neat and tidy and plenty of the play was coming down the right where Trundle was linking up well with Connor. Mcloed was having a quiet game for a change.This is when the goal came.
Towards the end of the half though MK should have been 2-1 up. They scored off a corner and Willy made 2 which looked like amazing saves from my view to keep the score 1-1.
Second half was also very poor for us. Mk dons controlled a lot of the possession and there was one or two dangerous balls put into the box which could have gone anywhere but willy didnt really have much to do. The last 15 minutes though we took more control of the game and Andy Robinson finished with 2 goals.
End of the day we got the three points away which is a good result but Mk brought us down to earth a bit from last saturday.
My MOTM has to be Tate – brilliant at the back fair play!
One final thing, one or two of our fans were booing Trundle and I dont think its on to be honest. He scored a sweet goal (again) plus he set up at least one of Robinsons goals though it may have been both of them?